Canada loses 2004 Grand Prix

Canada loses 2004 Grand Prix

Canada has been removed from the Formula One 2004 Grand Prix calendar due to the ban on tobacco advertising due to come into effect in October this year. Race promoter Normand Legault said Bernie Ecclestone had informed the organizers in a letter...

Canada has been removed from the Formula One 2004 Grand Prix calendar due to the ban on tobacco advertising due to come into effect in October this year. Race promoter Normand Legault said Bernie Ecclestone had informed the organizers in a letter this week.

"This letter says that Canada's Grand Prix won't show up on the Formula One world championship 2004 calendar," he said. "This decision seems to be the consequence of the tobacco laws coming into full effect."

First corner: Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve, three-wide.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
The Circuit Gilles Villenueve in Montreal has hosted the Canadian GP since 1978 and the loss of the race will have a negative effect on the city economy. "There's an important economic impact," said Legault. "There will be an important negative impact on Montreal's tourism."

Legault does not intend to fight the decision: "The letter wasn't a surprise," he added. "He (Ecclestone) is invoking a contractual matter which he has the right to raise. I don't view it as a threat but as a final decision on his part."

Montreal follows Belgium and Austria as the latest victim of bans on tobacco advertising, laws that are due to come into widespread effect in 2006. Like Spa and the A1-Ring, Montreal wants its race but Ecclestone's decision is within his rights.

"The decision was basically made in light of the October 1 application of Canada and Quebec's anti-tobacco legislation," said Legault. "What that means for next June's event is that Michael Schumacher's Ferrari could not sport Marlboro's colours and Jacques Villeneuve's car could not have Lucky Strike on it. Based on this situation, Mr Ecclestone has the legal right to call an end to the contract."

Ecclestone denies Canada withdrawal

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari